February 2018
This Month's Newsletter
We hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine's Day and are getting excited for Spring next month!

This month's newsletter includes information on ImPACT testing - what is it and how it can be a useful tool for your children. In recognition of Dental Hygiene Month, we provide information on how to prevent cavities and tooth decay.  Finally, we address the many complexities surrounding teenagers and offer multiple resources for several topics they may need help navigating.  

Our goal is to further develop our relationship with our patients and create an open forum. We welcome your comments and ideas. If you would like to see something included in this newsletter, please email us at pedcenter.com@gmail.com  with ideas only, please no medical requests.

As always, we welcome you to share your experience with our practitioners with an online review. 

The Pediatric Center Staff
What Is ImPACT Testing?
Children are constantly at risk of getting concussions and other injuries from sports and gym class.

ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Test) is the only FDA cleared concussion assessment method utilized for ages 5 to 59. It is the most widely used and most scientifically validated computerized concussion management tool available to help physicians evaluate and manage suspected concussions.

ImPACT Comes in Two Forms
Baseline Test - Administered before the start of a sport season, school year, or other activity. Baseline scores are collected and stored.

Post-Injury Test - Administered when a concussion is suspected. Test results are compared to baseline scores and/or normative data scores as part of our assessment of the injury. Multiple post-injury tests may be given to an individual during the course of treatment and rehabilitation.

Benefit of ImPACT Testing
  • In addition to establishing neurocognitive performance baselines, healthcare providers use ImPACT test scores as an important component of their assessment of an injury.
  • Post-injury test scores may be used by a licensed provider to inform an effective concussion treatment course of action.
  • ImPACT may be administered multiple times after a clinician has diagnosed a concussion-scores can be used to help measure rehabilitation and to consider whether to return an injured individual back to activity.
How ImPACT Works
ImPACT is a  25-minute online test delivered  via a secure web portal and taken  via a computer (PC and Mac compatible). The test is a dministered in the presence of a physician, nurse, athletic trainer, athletic director, or coach (only a licensed healthcare provider can administer an ImPACT post-injury test).

It p ovides highly reliable neurocognitive data:
  • Measures attention span, working memory, sustained and selective attention time, non-verbal problem solving, and reaction time
  • Records current severity of 22 concussion symptoms via a 7-point Likert scale
  • Detects and flags attempts to manipulate test scores
  • Produces a comprehensive report of test results in a .pdf format
ImPACT is the only concussion management provider to be SSAE 16 SOC 2 Type 2 audited, which means that your patient data meets or exceeds all relevant global regulations and standards.  All personally identifiable information is encrypted.

The Pediatric Center is one of only a few pediatric practices that offer on-site ImPACT testing. Yet another way we ensure each child receives the most advanced treatment options available in healthcare.
Dental Health & Hygiene - What Matters?
In recognition of National Children's Dental Health Month, the following information from HealthyChildren.org discusses the importance of dental health and hygiene.

As you might guess, the number-one dental problem among preschoolers is  tooth decay.
  • 1 out of 10 two-year-olds already have one or more cavities
  • By age 3, 28% of children have one or more cavities
  • By age 5, nearly 50% of children have one or more cavities
Many parents assume that cavities in  baby teeth don't matter, because they'll be lost anyway. But that's not true. Dental decay in baby teeth can negatively affect permanent teeth and lead to future dental problems.

Teaching Good Dental Habits
The best way to protect your child's teeth is to teach them good dental habits. With the proper coaching he'll quickly adopt good oral hygiene as a  part of his daily routine. You'll need to supervise and help him so that the brush removes all the plaque-the soft, sticky, bacteria- containing deposits that accumulate on the teeth, causing tooth decay. Also, keep an eye out for areas of brown or white spots which might be signs of early decay.

As soon as your child has a tooth you should be helping your child brush her teeth two times a day with a smear (size of a grain of rice) of toothpaste on a child-sized toothbrush that has soft bristles. There are brushes designed to address the different needs of children at all ages, ensuring that you can select a toothbrush that is appropriate for your child.

Amount of Toothpaste
At age 3, you can start using a pea-size amount of  toothpaste, which helps prevent cavities. If your child doesn't like the taste of the toothpaste, try another flavor. Also try to teach your child not to swallow it, although at this age they are often still too young to learn to rinse and spit. Swallowing too much fluoride toothpaste can make white or brown spots on your child's adult teeth.

Brushing Motion
You'll hear all kinds of advice on whether the best brushing motion is up and down, back and forth, or around in circles. The truth is that the direction really doesn't matter. What's important is to clean each tooth thoroughly, top and bottom, inside and out. This is where you'll encounter resistance from your child, who probably will concentrate on only the front teeth that he can see. It may help to turn it into a game of "find the hidden teeth." Children need assistance brushing until six to eight years old. So be sure to supervise or do the actual brushing if necessary.

Too Much Sugar
Besides regular toothbrushing, your  child's diet will play a key role in his dental health. And, of course, sugar is the big villain. The longer and more frequently his teeth are exposed to sugar, the greater the risk of cavities. "Sticky sugar" foods such as sticky caramel, toffee, gum, and dried fruit-particularly when it stays in his mouth and bathes his teeth in sugar for hours-could do serious damage. Make sure to always brush your child's teeth after a sugary food item. In addition, avoid any sugar-containing liquid in a  sippy cup for a prolonged period.

Dental Checkups
During regular  well-child visits, the pediatrician will check your child's teeth and gums to ensure their health. If she notices problems, she may refer your child to a  pediatric dentist (pedodontist) or a general dentist with an interest in treating the dental needs of children. Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommend that all children see a pediatric dentist and establish a " dental home" by age one.

As part of her dental checkup the dentist will make sure all teeth are developing normally and that there are no dental problems and give you further advice on proper hygiene. She also may apply a topical fluoride solution to provide extra protection against cavities. If you live in an area where the  water is not fluoridated, she may prescribe fluoride drops or chewable tablets for your toddler. For more guidance on fluoride supplements, talk to your pediatrician.

Teen Time
Our comprehensive website includes many informational resources including topics surrounding the life of a teenager.

The teenage patient is unique and requires special teen annual well visits, sports physicals, acne and eczema management, asthma management, and ADHD/ADD assessment, diagnosis and treatment management. 

Our teenage patients are interested in talking about dating, social media, texting, peer pressure, drinking and driving, depression and many other topics unique to their age group.

The information our teenage patients share with us is often sensitive, and can seem even embarrassing at the time. We are prepared to talk about topics like "Teenage Confidentiality" and the teenagers' right to privacy as well as emancipation and personal responsibility.

We encourage teens to be honest with us. It helps ensure that health concerns and questions are shared. Occasionally, we may discuss sensitive issues such as sexuality and drugs and, for the most part, we agree to keep these conversations private. We expect teens to ask questions that will ultimately keep them healthy and safe.

Some common topics are listed below, with available online resources for more information:

Drug Abuse
Get the latest facts on how drugs affect the brain and body:  Teen drug abuse

Drinking and Driving
Did you know car crashes are the leading cause of death for 15-20 year olds? It's important for teenagers to understand they can say "no" to drinking and driving. The SADD website covers information on drinking and driving topics. 

Body Image
Body image can be a tricky subject with teens and how they feel about the way they look. It's important for teens to understand what it means to be healthy. Often teenagers get caught on terms like "fat" or "thin" - these ideas can be detrimental to a healthy body image. If you suspect your child may have an issue with their body image or shows signs of an eating disorder, this website is a great reference. 

Almost half of the respondents in a recent survey of public and private high school students said they had been the victims of bullying. Bullying can be debilitating to some teens and can effect their daily ability to maintain a healthy perspective. To read more on bullying, visit this government regulated site. 

Depression is a relevant topic among teens. Sadly, suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death in 11-18 year olds. In addition, 8% of all students age 12-17 years old have had at least one episode of what doctors consider a "major depressive episode" in the past year. Feeling sad and having thoughts of hurting yourself can be an indication of depression. For a quick reference, visit the CDC for more information.  

If your child is in crisis and needs to talk to a safe adult right away: Call 1-800-273-TALK or go to  www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org 

Sexual Identity
Many teens know that they are lesbian, gay, or bisexual which can cause them to feel confused and unsure how to present themselves to the world. Many teens feel anxious about talking with their parents about these topics. This is a valuable website to reference.

HPV Vaccine
Many of our teens ask specifically about vaccination for HPV, the Human Papilloma Virus. This is the infection that causes cervical cancer in adult women but we now know it can cause other types of cancer and it can cause cancers in men too. To learn more about HPV visit this CDC page.

Oratory Prep is hosting a Teen Talk on March 15th from 7 - 8:30 pm. Click here for more information.

If you or your teen have any specific topics they have questions about and need a safe environment to discuss them, please make an appointment with one of our doctors. 

On-Site Lactation Support Center
The Pediatric Center's on-site Lactation Support Center led by our own Director of Lactation Support, Clare Cardo McKegney, DNP, APN, CPNP, is here to support you in breastfeeding your child. Dr. McKegney is a board certified pediatric nurse practitioner and certified breastfeeding counselor with over 18 years of advanced practice in pediatrics. 

Our modern and private on-site lactation suite provides a warm and relaxed environment for the mother and infant to enjoy a positive breastfeeding experience. 

We also offer a free prenatal class every month, open to the public. 

To schedule your lactation consultation, attend our free prenatal class or make an appointment please call us at 908-508-0400.

Patient Portal
The Pediatric Center's patient portal provides personal access  to your family's  medical records. 

You can access information such as immunization records, visit summaries, request appointments, view dates for upcoming appointments and pay your bill.

Sign up is quick from our website. Click here.
Do You Need A Pediatric Specialist?
If you are in search of a pediatric specialist, please know we are here to guide you.

We have a wide network of doctors we can refer to ensure you are in good hands.

We specialize in developmental & behavioral health and focus on positive parenting practices. We can offer guidance on depression, eating disorders, developmental concerns and many other issues.

You are not alone. 
Please call to make an appointment to meet with one of our physicians:  
The Pediatric Center Online Bill Pay
Online Bill Payment
The Pediatric Center offers the ease and convenience of online bill baby_laptopbuying.jpg payment.   

Simply visit our " Bill Payment & Insurance" page on our website. 

Payments Over The Phone
If you prefer, you can still make a payment over the phone by calling The Pediatric Center's billing department, HealthCare Billing, Inc:  
Toll Free:  877-852-9092  or
Local:  908-237-9092
Vaccine Education Center

Did you know our website includes a Vaccine Education Center where you can find the immunization schedule for your child?


Reminder - we are offering the new meningitis vaccine Trumenba in our office. Insurance companies have started to cover this vaccine. It is recommended it be administered to all students starting college as part of their pre-college physical.


View all the details here.

We Love Your Feedback!

Your feedback is very important to us! We would love to hear about your positive experience with our doctors and nurse practitioners.  


Did you know you can write and post a review right on our website? Click here.


You can use this page to provide feedback, kudos, or just share thoughts. 


Thank you for your kind words!

Free Prenatal Class
We offer a free prenatal class on the 3rd Thursday of every month with our own
Dr. McKegney!
Click here to learn more.
It's A Partnership
Resources for breastfeeding, immunization schedules, what to do if your child is sick, online references & much more! Click here.
Read Our Blog!
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The Pediatric Center

556 Central Avenue, New Providence, NJ 07974



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